September 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm #142625
An article in GovTech yesterday discussed a new IBM/Streetline Inc. product called "Smarter Parking," which is designed to help commuters find free parking spaces in large, congested cities.
This technology was developed in response to a survey conducted by IBM that measured "parking pains" in several international destinations. Amongst some of the worst in the US were New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
“Just in the last month alone in the U.S., people drove an extra million miles just to look for parking spots,” said Vinodh Swaminathan, IBM’s director of intelligent transportation systems for its public-sector group. “That’s 47,000 gallons of gas; that’s almost 38 trips around the Earth — all this to really go nowhere.”
The Municipal Transportation Authority in San Francisco launched a pilot program with this technology called "SF Park" earlier this year, which allows people to use their mobile devices to find free spots and compare prices of different parking structures in the area.
What do you think of this technology? What else can be done by transportation authorities to ease "parking pains" in the United States?
September 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm #142631
Build more multistory parking garages. It's not rocket science.
September 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm #142629
I agree, that was my first reaction too. However the article pointed out that in these cities there is literally almost no space/land to build more, so they're trying to "better manage" what they already have.
October 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm #142627
The mobile device approach is intriguing. Much like using crowdsorcing and well-designed apps for finding cheap gas, doing something similar for parking is an interesting idea.
In fact, I put it to the test a few months ago while passing through DC on vacation with the family. Although I was there in DC on a year-long assignment about five years ago, I didn't bring my car and thus never had to worry about parking. On this particular visit a few months ago, what to do? Out came the iPhone and we began a search. We did find where one can use a cell phone to actually pay for parking in DC, which is a neat idea. However, the overall experience was somewhat wanting (little to no details online or in apps and no information at all regarding Sunday parking), so we resorted to the old-fashioned way: driving around and reading signs.
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